By Caitlin Choveaux

Are you naughty or nice?

Take the test this Christmas…

ten commandments

In many countries there is a Christmas tradition that says good children deserve to get presents and naughty kids do not.

When you think about it, what set of standards should a child follow and how good do you have to be to 'deserve' presents at Christmas? I might be better behaved than the kid next door but who could ever compete with Miss Mary goody-two-shoes from down the block?

There is one set of 'good' standards I know I definitely cannot live up to, God's Ten Commandments which are written in the book of Exodus chapter 20. How many of these Commandments do you know of? After all, that is the list which God uses to determine whether we will go to be with Him in heaven or be separated from Him in Hell forever.

“There is good news amidst the doom”If this is the standard God used to determine whether we are naughty or nice, how do you think you would go? Here's the test...

Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you used God's name in vain or as a curse word, also known as blasphemy? Have you ever looked at someone lustfully (Jesus said that lust was adultery of the heart)? Have you ever disobeyed your parents, breaking the fifth commandment? Have you ever coveted (been jealous of) other people's stuff, breaking the tenth commandment?

I do not know about you but it is not looking good for me so far – I am definitely not getting presents for Christmas! Worse than that, every time I fall short of this standard, another list gets longer – the list God has of all my wrongs against Him.

Now many I've spoken to say 'God will forgive me because my list of wrongs is not as long as other peoples' lists...I am a good person!' Well, how good do you have to be to get over the line?

The truth is simple: none of us are good enough! Romans chapter 3 verse 23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".

But wait, there is some good news amidst the doom and gloom. God loved us enough to make a way for the punishment we should have received to be placed on someone else – Jesus. When He died on the cross, He made a way for those lists of wrongs to be erased forever if we first trust that Jesus is more than capable of saving us and, secondly, we turn to Him as our Lord. That means living as best we can in obedience to God and trusting that He will help us to do this.

The reward for making this decision to follow Jesus is more than material possessions you desire to get this year, it is a 'blank list' that leads to eternal life in heaven.

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